Unformat Hard Drive and Data on Windows 10/11 (FREE)
Accidentally formatted hard drive in Windows 10 or 11? You can free download unformat hard drive software - MyRecover and recover data from it easily or try 2 other methods.
Format vs UnFormat
Format (usually refers to a high-level format) is a process of deleting all the data on a storage device like HDD, SSD, USB, SD card, etc and setting up a file system for it. You need to format a hard drive in some specific situations, such as, Windows reports “You need to format the disk in drive G: before you can use it”.
But if you format a hard drive by mistake, it can be a disaster, because it causes huge data loss. Unformat is to undo a format and recover files from a formatted hard drive or other storage devices. It can be done with backup or data recovery software.
Is It Possible to Unformat a Hard Drive?
“My PC has two operating system on a C and E drive. I formatted my E drive by mistake when I was trying to format a flash drive. A friend told me there’s a way to unformat it. How do I do it? Both drives have Windows 10 Pro.”
- Question from Microsoft Forum
Format delete all the data on a disk, but that’s not all. If you format a hard drive with the quick format, you still can unformat hard drive and recover data from it. Because it just “deletes” files from the disk and rebuild the file system, volume label, and cluster size.
- Use quick format in Windows Explorer.
- Perform a quick format with Disk Management.
- Use quick format in command prompt, such as format fs=ntfs quick or format fs=fat32 quick
Besides, the time elapsed after formatting is very important. If you recover data after formatting immediately, the chances are much better. However, it is hard to say if you formatted the drive and installed Windows on it, or if you copied a lot of files after formatting. Any new data will overwrite previous data on the disk, making data recovery impossible.
How to Unformat hard drive on Windows 10 or 11
Here are x effective methods to undo a format process. If you recover files easily and quickly, try data recovery software. Also, you can try backup image, or cmd to recover formatted files.
IMPORTANT: Please stop using the formatted disk after you format it. This may make data recovery more difficult. Any new data will overwrite files on the formatted disk.
Method 1. Unformat HDD with Data Recovery Software
Data recovery software like MyRecover is the easiest method to help you recover data from a formatted hard drive. The entire recovery process are 3 steps. Below are some advantages of it:
- Free: It supports recover files from formatted disk for free, up to 30MB each time.
- 200+ file recovery types: It allows you to recover pictures, videos, documents, compressed files, etc. from the formatted hard drive or other devices, such as, USB drive.
- High success rate & fast speed: With advanced scanning technology, you can find as many of your files in a formatted disk and recover it successfully and quickly.
- Convenient: It will keep formatted files with original file name, format, quality and path.
- Wide compatible: It supports Windows 7, 8, 10, 11 etc and Windows Server as well as all file system, such as NTFS, FAT32, exFAT, ReFS, etc.
Free download unformat hard drive software and install it on your Windows 10 or 11.
Step 1. Install unformat hard drive freeware - MyRecover and open it. Then, select the formatted hard drive or partition and click Start Scan.
Step 2. It will automatically start a quick and deep scan to find all of the deleted files on a formatted disk. The scanning time depends on the data size. You can directly select files from the scanned files list to restore or wait for a full result.
You can also use the Filter feature to search files on the formatted disk faster. It has 3 options in the following:
- Type: It will contain all the file types in the local drive, such as, images, videos, documents, mails, webpage, compressed files, etc.
- Data Modified: It supports today, yesterday, last 7 days, last 30 days, and custom.
- Size: It allows you to filter file size from less than 128KB to 128KB ~1MB to 1MB ~ 512MB and above, or custom.
To recover files from formatted hard drive, Word document, for example, click Filter > Type and select Documents. Then, input DOCX in the Search for files or folders box. It will list all of the deleted Word documents in the following window.
Step 3. Select specific or all files you want to recover and Click Recover x files to get them back.
- You can choose to restore Word files to original location or new location.
- Except for Word files, you could also use it to restore Excel files, ZIP files, Excel files, PPT, etc.
- Besides formatting, you still can use it to recover files lost accidental deletion (eg: recover deleted files in Windows 10), system crashes, virus attacks, or more.
Method 2. Unformat Hard Drive using Command Prompt
You can also use chkdsk and attrib to unformat hard drive and recover lost files in Windows 11/10/8/7. Although not 100% effective, it is worth a try.
Step 1. Type Command Prompt in the Windows search bar and click Run as administrator.
Step 2. Type chkdsk #: /f (Replace # with the letter of the formatted drive.) Press Enter and type Y to continue.
Step 3. Type the command ATTRIB -H -R -S /S /D #:*.* (Replace # with the drive letter of the formatted drive.). Press Enter.
Method 2. Unformat Hard Disk with Backup Image
Microsoft provides users with two built-in Windows backup software - Backup and Restore and File History to create a copy of your files. If you format hard disk, try to restore files from backup.
From Backup and Restore:
Step 1: Go to Control Panel > System and Security and select Backup and Restore (Windows 7). Click on Restore my files.
Step 2: Click “Search…”, “Browse for files”, and “Browse for folders” option to find your files or folders on a formatted disk.
Step 3: Select where you want to restore your files - original location or new location and then click “Restore” to restore files from a formatted disk in Windows 10.
From File History:
Step 1: Type “Restore your files with File History” in the search box and select the top result. It will direct you to the File History recovery window.
Step 2: Click the left and right arrow to find your files in the formatted disk and click the blue “Restore to original location” button to recover files.
How to Prevent Accidentally Format Disk or Data Loss
There are several useful tips to help you avoid data loss due to formatting. You can follow one or more of them in the following:
- Stop using the formatted drive to prevent overwriting data on it.
- Create a copy of your files on the disk automatically. It will include all the data on a disk. To backup all the changes made on this disk, you need to set a schedule backup task.
- If your hard drive is external USB drive, please eject it or safely remove it before unplugging it.
- Install antivirus software and scan your hard drive regularly.
- Use reliable data recovery software like MyRecover to unformat disk in Windows 10 or 11.
Among them, the best way is to create a copy of your files automatically. To make it and include all the changes, you need a reliable backup software for Windows, such as, AOMEI Backupper Standard.
Step 1. Download and install Windows backup software - AOMEI Backupper Standard. Then, click Backup > Disk Backup to backup entire disk and data on it.
Step 2. Set the Task Name to distinguish backup task from each other. Click Add Disk to choose the hard disk you want to backup.
Step 3. Select a location to store all the data on your external disk. You can backup disk to external disk, USB drive, network drive, NAS device, Cloud Drive, etc.
Step 4 (optionally). Click Schedule Backup and enable Daily, Weekly, Monthly, Event triggers or USB plug in to backup disk automatically. Thus, you will not lose any change made on the disk.
Step 5. Click Start Backup to backup disk in Windows 10 or 11. It will backup only changed files automatically if you make any change on the disk.
FAQs about Unformat Hard Disk
Hope you can successfully unformat hard drive in Windows 10 or 11 and recover files from it with 3 effective methods above. MyRecover is the easiest way if you don’t have a file backup or disk backup. It helps to successfully recover more than 200+ file types from a formatted disk, USB drive, SD, etc.
To prevent accidentally format a disk or cause data, the best way is to create a disk backup with a reliable backup software, AOMEI Backupper Standard, for example. If you enable its Schedule Backup, it will backup all the changes made later. If this guide helps you, please share it with others.